20091102

The Big Blue Oval

For most part of the last century, the global automotive scene has been dominated by the "Big 3" of USA. We all have grown up reading about GM, Ford & Chrysler and later, the rise of an Asian giant called "Toyota". Chrysler's association with the much-touted Daimler of Germany, which was marketed as a "Merger of Equals", triggered a landslide for Chrysler from which it was never able to really recover. On the other hand, GM and Ford went about adding brands into their folds until they realized one day it was too heavy carrying them off profitably. It was already too late and the worst economic slump the auto-industry had seen in many decades had already started. Now, when the market is showing signs of recovery hinting that the good old days will be back very soon, only one of the Detroit Big 3 has survived the turmoil without filing for bankruptcy. The Big Blue Oval (Ford) is scripting a turnaround story that is sure to go down in the history-books as one of the most amazing comebacks ever.

The way Ford is turning around things under the dynamic leadership of it's CEO Mr.Alan Mulally is nothing short of spectacular and marvelous. The first signs of Ford's recovery started with the perfect timing in which it started divesting in it's brands. The sale of Aston-Martin, Jaguar & Land Rover gave Ford the time and much-needed money to focus on the development of it's core brand. The other amazing thing Ford did was the development and launch of absolutely stunning and region-specific models, that were ultra-successful in different parts of the globe.

It all started with the launch of the brilliant Fiesta in Europe and later in China. The car became an instant hit in both these important markets thus bringing in the volumes and keeping the cash registers flowing. Just like what the Grande Punto did for Fiat a few years back, this car has single-handedly revived Ford's fortunes in two of it's biggest markets in the globe. As a matter of fact, Ford has reached it's highest market share in Europe for the past few years last month, courtesy the superb sales of the Fiesta. It's home market of USA saw Ford launching a redesign of the iconic F150 pickup and the very capable Fusion models. Both the models are still selling like hot cakes and helped Ford in sustaining comparatively better sales numbers while the other two domestic automakers kept loosing sales month after month. Ford is all set for a hatrick in the US market with it's latest model, the Taurus. The next big launch is going to be the same European Fiesta for the US market and with that, Ford is sure to leave it's rivals gasping for breath and scurrying for cover.

The Indian market too, where Ford wa(i)s just a sleeping giant, has recently witnessed the public unveiling of it's small car, the Figo. Though it is based on the previous generation Fiesta, the Figo with it's diesel engine and value-for-money pricing, is sure to catapult Ford into the big league along with Maruti, Hyundai and Tata. Let's hope that Ford gets everything right with the Figo in India and we get to witness a success story that has already been seen and much talked and written about across the globe.  

No comments:

Post a Comment